There's no rhyme or reason to derbies.
LAFC is 20 points clear of the Galaxy. The Black & Gold are almost sure to win the Supporters' Shield. While the Galaxy is four points above the playoff line.
And still, this match means so much more to the city and the fans.
Let's try to make sense of some of it in the Toyota Keys to the Match for LAFC vs Galaxy:
Remember The Feeling
It's not just another game. The players and coaches are well aware of that.
For LAFC, you've got to go back to the feeling you had during and after the last match. Remember how intense it was from the first whistle. And remember how disappointed you were at the final one.
There's no easing into this match. You're either ready to go from the start or you're left behind. Do the mental prep before you take the pitch. Bring the right mentality into every pass, tackle, and run.
In the last matchup, the Galaxy swarmed LAFC. It's time to flip that script.
There are going to be plenty of aerial duels and second balls to battle for in this match. LAFC needs to stay connected from front to back. Be sure that you can help teammates recover and control direct balls and quick transitions.
Lead from the front. It's going to take the entire side working on both sides of the ball to earn three points.
Find Your Football
Amidst the emotion and the noise on the pitch in the derby, LAFC has to find its football at all costs.
Wrestle the game away and put it on your terms. The players know the crowd will be behind them from hours before kickoff and well into the night. Things might be happening at light speed but there's still the ability to find passes, use space, and push up on the Galaxy.
The more LAFC plays on the front foot, the higher the likelihood those fans will go home happy.